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US BOEM offers ROW grant for Block Island Transmission System

CTBR Staff Writer Published 18 November 2014

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has offered a right-of-way (ROW) grant to Deepwater Wind for a transmission cable system at the company’s 30MW Block Island offshore wind farm in Rhode Island, the US.

The 21-mile, bi-directional submerged transmission cable will be installed between Block Island and the Rhode Island mainland.

It will transmit power from the existing onshore transmission grid on the mainland to Block Island.

The ROW corridor, which is around eight miles long, features a part of the transmission line that crosses federal waters.

Once Deepwater and the BOEM agree upon terms and conditions of the grant, the company will be required to pay the rent of the first year and offer financial assurance.

After execution of the grant, BOEM will finalize its review of Deepwater's general activities plan, which outlines planned installation activities and conceptual decommissioning proposals for the transmission system.

Commenting on the ROW grant, US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said: "This is a major milestone for offshore renewable energy in the United States.

"This decision marks the first right-of-way grant offered in federal waters for renewable energy transmission, paving the way for Block Island, the only Rhode Island community not connected to the grid, to have access to clean, affordable renewable energy."

The Block Island project will feature Alstom's 5 6MW Haliade 150 direct-drive offshore wind turbines, including tower sections.

The wind farm will generate more than 125,000 megawatt hours of energy per year, enough to power over 17,000 homes.

Deepwater plans to begin offshore construction in summer 2015 and start operating the wind farm in 2016.